Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 17:20
AC 2086. Verse 20. And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: behold I will bless him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him very exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. "As for Ishmael, I have heard thee," signifies those who are rational from truth, that they are to be saved; "behold I will bless him," signifies that they would be imbued and gifted; "I will make him fruitful," signifies with the goods of faith; "and will multiply him," signifies with the truths thence derived; "very exceedingly," signifies beyond measure; "twelve princes shall he beget," signifies the primary precepts of the faith which is of charity; "and I will make him a great nation," signifies the fruition of goods and their increase.
AC 2087. As for Ishmael, I have heard thee. That this signifies those who are rational from truth, that they are to be saved, is evident from the representation of Ishmael in this place, as being those who are rational from truth, or the spiritual (n. 2078); and that they are to be saved, is evident from the signification of "hearing thee," as may be seen without explication.
AC 2088. Behold I will bless him; and will make him fruitful very exceedingly. That this signifies that they should be imbued and gifted with the goods of faith and with the derivative truths beyond measure, is evident from the signification of being "blessed," of being "fruitful," and of being "multiplied." To be "blessed" signifies to be gifted with all goods (n. 981, 1096, 1420, 1422). To be "fruitful" denotes the goods of faith with which they should be gifted; and to be "multiplied" denotes the truths thence derived (n. 43, 55, 913, 983).
 Who the celestial are, and who the spiritual, it would be too tedious to describe here, and they have been described already (n. 81, 597, 607, 765, 2069, 2078, and in many other places). In general, the celestial are those who have love to the Lord, and the spiritual those who have charity toward the neighbor. (What the distinction is between having love to the Lord, and having charity toward the neighbor, may be seen above, n. 2023). The celestial are those who are in the affection of good from good; but the spiritual are those who are in the affection of good from truth. In the beginning all were celestial, because they were in love to the Lord; and hence they received perception, by which they perceived good, not from truth, but from the affection of good.
 But afterwards, when love to the Lord was no longer such as it had been, spiritual men followed, those men being called spiritual who were in love toward the neighbor, or in charity. But love toward the neighbor, or charity, was implanted by means of truth; and thereby they received conscience, and acted in accordance with it, not from the affection of good, but from the affection of truth. Charity, with the spiritual, appears like the affection of good; but it is the affection of truth. From this appearance, charity is still called good; but it is the good of their faith. These are they who are meant by the Lord in John: I am the door; by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and go out, and shall find pasture I am the good shepherd and I know Mine own, and am known of Mine and other sheep I have which are not of this fold them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one flock, and one shepherd (John 10:9, 14, 16).
AC 2089. Twelve princes shall he beget. That this signifies the primary precepts which are of charity, is evident from the signification of "twelve," as being all things of faith; and from the signification of "princes," as being primary things. "King" and "princes" are mentioned in various parts of the Word; but in the internal sense they never signify king or princes, but the primary things of the matter in connection with which they are mentioned. (That "kings" signify truths in one complex has been already shown, (n. 2015); also that "princes" are the primaries of truth, which are precepts, (n. 1482). Hence the angels in fact the spiritual angels-are called "principalities," because they are in truths. The term "princes" is predicated from the truths which are of charity; for, as before said (n. 1832), the spiritual, by means of the truths that appear to them as truths receive charity from the Lord, and through this, conscience.
 That "twelve" signifies all the things of faith, has been hitherto unknown to the world; and yet whenever the number "twelve" occurs in the Word, whether in the historic or the prophetic part, it signifies nothing else. By the "twelve sons" of Jacob, and derivatively by the "twelve tribes" named from them, the same is signified; and also by the "twelve disciples" of the Lord. Each son of Jacob, and each of the twelve disciples, represented an essential and primary of faith. (What was represented by each son of Jacob, and so by each tribe, will of the Lord‘s Divine mercy be told in what follows, where the sons of Jacob are treated of, Gen. 29 and 30).
AC 2090. And I will make him a great nation. That this signifies the fruition of goods and their increase, is evident from the signification of "nations," as being goods (n. 1159, 1258-1260, 1416, 1849); and therefore to "make a great nation," here signifies both the fruition and the increase of goods. GENESIS 17:20 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|